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Sunday 25 September 2016

'My son was forced into Tunisia rampage'

Scott D'Arcy

Published 06/07/2015 | 02:30

Killer: Seifeddine Rezgui
Killer: Seifeddine Rezgui

The mother of the Tunisian beach gunman has revealed her son once refused to kill a mouse because he "couldn't kill anything".

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Radhia Manai (49), said she believed Seifeddine Rezgui, who was killed by security forces after the rampage in the Sousse tourist resort, had been "brainwashed" into carrying out the attack.

Rezgui opened fire on holidaymakers sunbathing on the beach on Friday June 26, shooting 38 people dead.

The bodies of the three Irish and 30 Britons killed in the attack have been repatriated.

Rezgui's mother said: "When they told me my son had killed all these people, I said no, it's impossible. I couldn't believe, I can't believe it. Once there was a mouse in the house and I asked Seifeddine to kill it and he refused saying, 'I can't kill anything'.

Different

"God bless the victims, all those people and their poor families, and I feel so sorry but I want to tell them it wasn't my son who did this, it was a different Seifeddine.

"I think someone was pressuring my son to do this. Maybe they said, 'Do this or we'll kill you'. My son is a victim like all the others. I want to know who is the head of all this, who did this to him and I want them to go to prison or be killed."

Mrs Manai said she hoped the British authorities, who are carrying out their own inquests, "will get to the bottom of this" as she described the 23-year-old student as a music and football fan.

Rezgui's parents first learned of the massacre when police arrived to question them at their home in Gaafour, more than 160km from Sousse.

Tunisian authorities have questioned several suspected associates of Rezgui, who had links to the terror group Isil.

They have said he acted alone during the rampage but had accomplices who supported him beforehand, providing him with weapons and logistical support.

Irish Independent

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